This Veterans Day Weekend, the museum debuts new exhibits created by a Veteran; US Navy Veteran Alison Nitti. Alison began working with the museum as an Intern in the Spring of 2019. Alison’s first task was researching two subjects, forever linked by history: The tragedy of the Marine Electric sinking, and the United States Coast Guard’s modern Rescue Swimmer program. Her second task was to conceptualize the vast amount of research material into an enjoyable museum exhibit. Task number three was doing the graphic design for the exhibit panels. Because we are a small museum, we do most of our graphic work in house, and Alison was eager to try her hand at creating the exhibit’s look and feel. Alison took a fourth step in reaching out to, and acquiring, on loan, very rare artifacts recovered from the wreck site of Marine Electric.  She also took the fifth step with us, helping with installing the museum panels and USCG equipment into the main gallery. I’ll let Alison share a few thoughts about working with us on the project. 

I started working at the museum about 5 months ago.  This is my first internship ever, so I had no idea what to really expect.  I’m grateful to Mr. Hazel for actually giving me a shot at it and for giving me the chance to create an exhibit.  Hopefully the community will grow to appreciate it and really love it as much as I do!

Alison Nitti

I was very recently accepted into Graduate school, where I’ll be working towards my Master of Science in Library and Information Science degree, with a Specialization in Archival Studies.  I have always loved museums, even as a weird little kid, so I hope to work at the one in my small hometown someday and retire there as a little old lady.

You might be asking, “What is this exhibit we are working so hard to put together?” Well I’ll tell you, because I know you’re sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the answer.  Currently we’re putting together an exhibit about the inception of the United States Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Swimmer Program.  It’s actually pretty amazing to research.  The program was pushed to be created after the capsizing of the SS Marine Electric in February 1983.  34 of her crew went down with the vessel and only 3 survived.  The world was immensely unprepared for such a disaster.  If you want to learn more about it, I recommend you come check out the exhibit when it opens!

Alison Nitti with a Marine Electric artifact.

I really enjoy history.  Especially weird facts and artifacts from any era.  However, my favorite things are the tiny details that are often overlooked or just disregarded because they are assumed to be nothing.  If you follow all the tiny “breadcrumbs” they can lead you to something amazing and trust me there’s always something amazing waiting for you when you get to the last breadcrumb.  Actually, maybe what you think is the last breadcrumb, isn’t really, and it leads you down another breadcrumb path and another and another and another (this post is supposed to be at least 300 words, so I think you know where I’m going with this.) and another and finally another incredible fact and you’ll want to share all you’ve discovered with the world.  We all need to love and appreciate history of any kind, after all it is the story of all of us.